Nickel Anodes Do Not Dissolve

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 1/1/2003

Question: Our Watts nickel bath has been acting very strange of late.


Our Watts nickel bath has been acting very strange of late. The anodes do not seem to be dissolving. We use nickel rounds in titanium baskets. Our chloride content is 9–11 oz/gal. We are able to plate at 35–40 asf, but the rounds do not seem to be dissolving. Can you help us? S.K.


If your anodes are not dissolving, then the metal you are plating out must be coming from the nickel salts in the bath. You don’t mention if you are making frequent additions of nickel sulfate to the bath. Personally, I don’t think this is the case.

What is probably more likely is that some of your anode baskets are making poor electrical contact and are not carrying their load. This might give the appearance that the anode material is not dissolving. You can test each anode basket by using a clamp ammeter. These handy devices are available from a number of different sources. (Search the Internet under “clamp ammeters” for sources.) Institute a program of regular cleaning all your electrical contacts.


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